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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  May 14, 2014 2:00pm-3:31pm PDT

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and edward norton for me. >> make sure to follow me on twitter, @jaketapper. that's it for the lead today. i'm jake tapper. turn you over to wolf bliter next door in the situation room. happening now, raging wildfires. thousands of people forced to flee. homes and schools are threatened. so called devil winds fan new blazes in the san diego area. we're going there live. virus alert. hundreds may have been exposed to the potentially fatal virus while flying on planes within the united states. how far and fast can it spread? and backlash from a shocking political attack. i'll speak live with nancy pelosi and the former new york city major, rudy giuliani. they're both here. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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>> this is cn thrks bren breaki. >> a fast moving, dangerous wildfire scorching through carlsbad, california. north of san diego. more than 11,000 people. more than 11,000 people have been told to evacuate their homes. schools where students were rushed to faf si. firefighters forced to give up the battle, pull back from the burning homes. this is one of after least three major fires burning in the area right cammen is on the fireline for us. jennifer grey is tracking the conditions. paul, tell our viewers what you're seeing. what's going on? >> reporter: right now, wolf, i'm at the southeastern flank of this fire. where it's actively burning. they're trying go ahead and get hold of it. it is so smoky in here, you
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can't tell what is going on. when my camera man pushes in, there's a house off in the distance. you can see the faint outline of a fire truck. what they've done is they're getting hose in there. they're trying to squirt all around the area as this fire rages through carlsbad, california. nearby, legoland has been evacuated. several schools. we know that 11,000 people have been evacuated. we have seen so far. this is from ground zero looking out. we only noticed one house had burned down. they're having off the time trying to ctry ing -- a tough time trying to contain it. the western drought, a big player in all of this. the brush, the venlatigetation, so dry. it makes it more vulnerable. i was talking to people from the national information fire center. guess where ground zero is? the state they're most worried about is almost all of
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california and almost all of oregon this season. they're worried about parts of nevada. this is unusually early in the fire season. to see three big fires like this whipped up in san diego county in may. they have quite a fight to put on right now. as we said, it's burning on several flanks. there was o this was one of the worst of them. you don't see the flames because the smoke is so oppressive where we're standing. >> the smoke and the fire looks awful. stick with me, paul. i want them to see what you went through moments ago. watch this. paul, let's talk about this. there's videos. obviously, very dramatic. tell us what we're seeing.
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>> well, you're looking at another fire that broke out in san diego county. you said three. there was a fourth that broke out near camp pendleton. it's so dry this started with a truck fire and then that spread into the nearby hillside and because of these conditions, and i know you were talking about the devil winds. the demonic winds. they started whipping that up. that's driving the fires right now. the wind. it's not so bad. there is one little silver lining in all this gray smoke. it's not so bad that they can't get up helicopters. they've been able to make water drop. you have got too many different flanks of this blaze, and too many blazes in san diego county in general for them to hit one fire with everything they've got. they have to spread the resources. i will add though, that we know of, just one house destroyed so far. and something that's playing a big factor that you might not think of. west coasters know all about it. dip down here. these are fire-retardant plants.
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there's a lot of this around here. an ice plant. it allows them to defend fires. the other thing is, you have got plenty of asphalt sidewalk. and as the law is in most neighborhoods, show over here. these houses are all stucco. they all have composite tile roofs. that is important. the fires spread through the active flames. the big danger is the embers floating through the air. they can be carried in big fires miles and miles and we're not seeing any exactly on camera right now. but these embers go up. land on a roof, land on a house. that's how the fires hopscotch a around. we haven't seen it yet. let's keep our fingers crossed. >> stand by, paul. extreme temperatures. strong winds fueling the flames. let's bring in jennifer grey, our meteorologist.
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she these are some of the worst conditions possible. explain to the viewers what is happening in southern california and throughout the state moving north right now. >> yeah, it's unprecedented, wolf. we've had record-breaking temperatures. low humidity. strong an thsanta ana winds. the temperature 100 degrees a few minutes ago. it's dropped ten degrees within the past hour. temperatures are dropping just a bit. humidity levels have been in the single dinchts. over the past day or two with dew points in the single digits as well. winds very, very strong. current wind gusts around carlsbad, 18. 31 ramona. we have had wind gusts in the foothills. 50 and 60 miles per hour. the strong winds, creating an incredible fire threat from los angeles all the way down to the san diego area. and points inland.
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palm springs included. all these areas in the hot pink. santa barbara, you're on the fringes of it as well. the high wind threat stretches across southern california. the good news is, the winds should start to die down a little bit this evening. it should cool off as well friday. and especially through the weekend. that will help firefighters tackle this. because today it is not possible. it's just too bad out there. humidity levels, san diego. 9. in the single digits. unbelievable. very, very dry. very windy. this is a normal year, wolf. we should see the wildfires peak around september, october. look at this year. june, july. we have not gotten there yet. look at in. already seeing mainly the wildfire numbers close to what they should be at the height of the season. that is just awful, awful news. going into a busy busy season. the wildfire season never really went away. this drought has just not let
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these wildfires up at all. >> the draught is awfuought is . >> any rain in the forecast? >> they could use it. we're going to see more importantly, not necessarily the rain, the temperatures start to fall. we're going to see the humidity levels start to increase. the winds start to shift. die down a little bit. even if they're not getting the rain in the coming days, they should get a little bit of relief from the temperatures and the wind. >> temperatures in the 90s in the area right now. jennifer, all right. we'll get back to you. matthew minsch is joining us on the phone. he's been posting dramatic video. where are you? what are you seeing? >> i'm not too far outside the la costa resort. just black, brown skies. pretty much escalated extremely in the last two hours. my car came here nice and clean
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from a limo company. now i have ash all over the place. at least 100 kids leaving the school in the parking lot over here. it's really hot. my car is reading 101. no rain. not good conditions. >> we're showing our viewers some of the video you shot. those black -- the black smoke. it really -- you can almost feel it. though we're just watching it. what does it smell like, feel like up close? >> uh, doesn't feel like place you want to be. that's for sure. extremely hot. hard to breathe. several people already with breathing apparatuses on. very uncomfortable. everything is hot. and, just recommend at this point, all the police and fire, they have -- i can't get any closer now. they've blocked off the entire area. people are trying to spray down their houses with hoses. there's two helicopters dropping
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tons of water. honestly, as much as they're dropping, it seems insignificant. >> people trying to flee the area. is that what's going on? >> yeah, i mean, you have a lot of people trying to flee. a lot of people trying to stick around. very concerned. a lot of people will be losing their homes today. it's very emotional. they might want to stick around the pray and hope that doesn't happen. a lot of traffic for people evacuating. people trying to take pictures like mist and keep people at a safe distance. >> sit pretty much a suburban area? we know southern california has a lot of urban areas there as well. where is the worst of it? >> right, well this is more of a suburban area. the biggest dhing thing. i took clients to this la costa resort. it's not similar to san diego or los angeles. a lot of brush here.
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dry brush that is aiding the fire. you know, most of these southern california suburban areas will get hit the hardest. >> have you been a long-time reside resident? is this unusual? >> i'm actually from new jersey. i've been in los angeles for about seven years now. the biggest fire i remember not too long ago in 2008, where the hollywood sign almost got burnt down. this is unusual. but it's not unusual considering the amount of rain we had in the winter. >> it's been really, really dry. it's about 90 degrees where you are right now? >> oh. it's just a number. it feels like hundreds right now. >> all right, matthew. thank you for sharing the video. we'll stay in touch with you as well. matthew muench. helping us with the breaking news out of southern california. up next, a lot more live coverage of the wildfires
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ranging through california. thousands of people forced to flee their homes and schools. much more coming up on the breaking news. mine was earned in korea in 1953. afghanistan, in 2009. orbiting the moon in 1971. [ male announcer ] once it's earned, usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection. and because usaa's commitment to serve current and former military members and their families is without equal. begin your legacy. get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve.
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oh, my god! oh, my gosh. oh, [ bleep ]. >> dramatic scenes out of southern california right now. let's get back to the breaking news. flames out of control. there's a wildfire going on. three at least, destroying homes. forcing thousands of people to evacuate areas, including carlsbad, california. paul vercammen is on the scene.
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what is going on? what are you seeing now? >> from what we understand, 15,000 evacuations. we're seeing the firefighters were able to make a stand in this neighborhood southeast here. some of the drought resistant plants certainly a factor. fire won't burn through ice plant. just off in the distance, through the smoke and the haze. i don't think you can see it. a number of homes all of them with composite roofs and stucco. making them more easily defensible in a fire. unseasonably dry and humid conditions. not humid conditions. low humidity. national fire officials saying that they believe california and oregon almost all of those states are of most concern to them. also worried about part of nevada. other states, montana, parts of northern idaho, less of a focus. this is possibly a harbinger of things to come. you do not see this intense of a
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fire season so early in may. and san diego county, of course, has had its share of wildfires. for this county to deal with four fire i fires in one day, a horrendous task. they're starting to pull out and focus on other areas. i can hear the helicopters up above. they're able to get the water on the fire from different front. so far, just one house destroyed here. >> paul, stand by. kristin is on the phone. she fook some dramatic video. i want to play the video you shot and we'll discuss. watch and listen. >> oh, my god! oh, my gosh. oh, [ bleep ]. >> all right, kristin, where were you? the flames are enormous from your car, you can see them up close. tell us where you were and what
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it felt like? >> i was on el camino real, a popular road in carlsbad. i was driving by to pick something up. it was just kras zi. within five minutes, i saw the smoke. but it was -- it wasn't getting big yet. within five minutes, i was driving by. it got really out of control. really, really crazy. i was shocked i dreove through that. >> were their homes being burned or a rural area? >> there's a veterinary place there and apartment home. and there are some homes actually right there and as i was driving by, i pulled over far enough to see. i think the houses were on fire. it was just -- it was hard to see because of the thick smoke. it just consumed the area. there were homes over there, unfortunately. >> did you sigh firefightee fir the scene? >> there was a helicopter.
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it was dumping water already. they got to the scene quick. the helicopter was already circling and dropping water. >> you to live in the general area? >> i do. i would say like five miles away. i'm more north, though. so, um, very scary, though. it's still -- i feel like even though it's five miles, it's close enough that it could spread, which is scary. >> how were the folks reacting? >> not well. um, i saw lady running out of her house. i heard -- i'm guessing a fire truck. they were saying everybody evacuate their homes now. everybody get out of the area. there are buildings nearby for offices. so i don't know if they evacuated them. it was crazy. the streets were hectic and, um, lots of traffic. >> kristin, good luck with you. thank you for sharing the video. i want to bring in our
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meteorologist jennifer gray. what kind of temperatures are they dealing with? >> temperatures hit 100 this afternoon. now, they've dropped to around 90. we're starting to see winds die down a little bit. great news that the helicopters are getting in the air. because that will help thingses as well. moving forward, tomorrow into the weekend and early part of next week, not much rain in the forecast. we're going to see the winds start to die down and we're going the start to see the temperatures start to die down just a little bit. with the change in direction of those winds, we'll start to see temperatures fall just a bit. wolf, the state of california is drir th dryer than we have ever seen in history. this could be one of the worst wildfire seasons ever. >> jennifer, when paul vercammen says they're worried about the fires not just in southern california but moving up throughout california, maybe to
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oregon. nevada, maybe even montana. i assume this whole area out west is pretty ripe unfortunately for these kinds of wildfire. >> absolutely. we've been talking about the entire state in exceptional drought. the highest level of drought category there is. so, we have been talking about this for months. we haven't really gotten into the peak of wildfire season yet. we're already seeing wildfire. you can expect these are definitely going to head north into central california, northern portions of the state. oregon is in danger as well. so, going forward, the state really needs rain. not much rain in the near future. >> jennifer, we'll come back to you. brian chapman joining us on the phone from carlsbad. one of the more than 11,000 people ordered to evacuate. he's joining us via face time. what was the experience that you had to endure?
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>> i was at work. my wife was, she works from home. she called and said, you have to get home. we have fire in the backyard. and, we -- we talked on the phone kind of went through the important things that we needed -- >> what did you say? >> we talked through the important things we needed. and, she started getting those things together while i dove home. and, by if time i got there, they wouldn't let me into the neighborhood. >> where was she by the time you got there? >> she had left. they kicked her out. she had a small car. took a few things that she could carry. and the dog and -- and fortunately for me, i found a back way in that i could get in and, i -- assessed the situation. it seemed safe. i got in and got six bags of pictures and videos and pictures and backup drive and all the thing that are really important.
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>> how close was the fire, is the fire based on what you know right now to your house? >> well, when i drove out, it was within 75 yards. >> we're showing our viewers pictures of your home that you shared with us. do you know if it's okay now or what happened? >> i don't know. we -- once i left, there was no way to be able to assess is situation. there was nobody in the neighborhood. i guess i'll find out when i get back there. >> let us know, brian. good luck to you. to your wife. to everyone in that area. what an awful, awful situation. too bad people have to endure these kinds of things. brian, we'll check back with you. coming up, much more on the breaking news. 15,000 people according to paul vercammen on the scene, now forced to flee homes, schools, businesses. wildfires racing toward homes and schools in the area. we'll have the latest. other breaking news we're
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we're following the braebing news. raging wildfires in the san diego area. they're forcing thousands of people to flee their homes and schools. about 15,000 so far. that number is growing. joining us now, the house minority leader, the democratic leader of the house of representatives, nancy pelosi. this is your home state. you see the pictures. you see what is going on. people telling the stories of rushing home to get photo album. firefighters are saying get out. it's only spreading because of the drought. >> well, the drought has been a serious collage hallenge to us. so much so, the governor has stopped having the grounds waters at the capitol.
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our hope and prayers are with the people. keep the memories in your heart. the pictures. leave right away for the safety of yourself and the first responders. the drought, the dryness, san francisco, yesterday, 90 degrees. for us, that is hot. hotter in southern california. >> that's hot for may. presumably, it will get worse. >> they increased the area. >> northern california, oregon, nevada, maybe montana. this is a horrible situation. >> it is. a terrible situation. with it, it's exacerbated by the drought. >> you say governor jerry brown is on top of this. doing whatever needs to be done. >> yes, indeed. >> let's talk some other stuff going on. i know your time is limited. so is ours. hillary clinton, you want her to run for president. >> of course. >> what do you think of the karl rove statement raising questions
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about her health? >> i think the strength, the popularity, that she's enjoyed has driven the republicans to their wits' end. what he said is just -- he only makes her stronger. >> if you want to run for president, you have to open up the books as far as your health records, financials. that stuff becomes part of the record. >> you talk about health, you're equating it with age, too. he's not that much younger. a couple, three years younger. maybe he's project his own weak i nesses on to somebody else. hillary clinton, her strength, stamina, by being secretary of state, running for president, i feel confident about her ability to serve as the president of the united states. >> other important issue. the select committee. the special committee that the republicans want on benghazi. are the democrats going to participate? >> we'll see. we want to show the public how unfair this process is.
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it should be evenly divide ediv. they don't want that. we should have equal access to witnesses. they said you may not ever have access to witnesses. they want to control the documents, the witnesses, come to their own conclusions. we'll have to make a decision as to what the best way is to showcase their unfairness. this is unnecessary. we have had six congressional hearings. one independent hearing at the state dempartment and the rest. >> it's a done deal. i spoke to your fellow democrats, they're not happy. they say if they're participating in the questioning, the testimony, if hillary clinton comes before the panel, it won't just be republicans asking questions. democrats will be asking questions as well. >> our democrats are divided on the issue. i'm make a decision about it. i want to show the terms under wh
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which we would go in or not. hillary clinton, she can take care of herself. nonetheless, i'm more concern about the witnesses they want to interview and not awe lowing us to see. >> when will a decision by you be made? >> when i do. >> within a few days? >> the speaker suggested we immediate before proceeding. when we meet, we'll -- >> you'll meet with him and make a decision. >> he's trying to avoid the meeting. >> the girls in nigeria. awful story. you have seen the pictures. our hearts go out to those families over there. some member of congress are saying send u.s. special operations forces in there. get this job done. save these girl. get them back to their families. is that something you would support? >> we're supporting a number of things. military intelligence, law enforcement assistance. and mental health assistance for the little girls who escaped and also for the families of the
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girl. the -- we want to have a further designation of this group under the u.n. we've declared them a terrorist group in 2013. they can be on the al qaeda list of the u.n. let's make a judgment as we give the assistance that we have as to what we can accomplish with the nigerian govern. >> back to the fires in california. let me invite you back. with you co will you come back? >> get back to the fires. the families affected by it. thank you for your coverage of it. >> thank you for coming in. >> my pleasure. more breaking news coming up. we're following the out of control widefires. and the spreading virus that has health officials so concerned right now. 18 countries, including the united states, now have come firmed cases.
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now you could have done it twice. this is awkward. check your speed. see how fast your internet can be. switch now and add voice and tv for $34.90. comcast business built for business. the breaking news we're following. almost 15,000 people have been forced to flee homes and schools as a fast-moving wildfire threatens southern california right now. including carlsbad. flort of san diego. amusement park rides at legoland have been evacuated. a lot of other places have been as well. the blaze whipped up by this dry devil wind. crews are igniting black fiackf
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try to tstop the flames. other news. live pictures of the new national 9/11 memorial museum in new york city. it's about to open at ground zero tomorrow. the spot where the world trade center once stood. rude rudy giuliani was the mayor at the time of the attacks. he helped tped new york to reco. i want to talk to you about the museum. but first, al qaeda, how much does it pose a threat to the u.s. all these years after 9/11? >> it still poses a major threat to the united states. possibly a different threat. rather than one major group. we have anywhere from 12 to 20 diversified groups. maybe they can't do something on the scale of a september 11, maybe they can. but maybe they can't do something on that scale. but they sure can do a lot of damage. and we have already seen the
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damage that can be done by the home grown terrorists. that was part of bin laden's plan. the homegrown terrorists are part of his plan. >> do you have confidence that the u.s. law enforcement, national security, the military, they're doing everything possible right now to prevent another 9/11? >> i believe they are. i believer they're doing everything possible. of course, this is a situation in which things are changing on the ground very, very quickly. you have to stay ahead of it. predicting the next attack is much much harder than just kind of preparing for the last one. so, no matter how good they are, oather in the bush or the obama administration, there are always gaps. >> tell us what the new 9/11 memorial museum that will be dedicated tomorrow morning, what it means to you? >> it means a great deal to me.
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i spent two hours there today. i may be more emotionally affected by it now than i was 13 years ago. maybe the passage of time. just thinking about the horrors of what happened and seeing a lot of the images. some of my own personal effects. my schedule for the day. the place where i was. i think it's going to be quite moving. and a wonderful experience for americans who lived through it and those who didn't. it captures the -- captures the tremendous tragedy. the tremendous scope of it. worst attack in the history of new york. maybe one of the worst in the history of america. it doesn't -- it doesn't -- it's not euphemistic. it makes it clear this was an islamic extremist terrorist attack. i know that is a subject of controversy. had they not done it that way, it would have been lying. i think people will find the exhibits beautifully laid out.
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telling a picture that is quite disturbing but also giving you great deal of mope. hope. it shows the heroism of the people. >> we're showing viewers the video from that day. the awful day, september 11, 2001. you were walking through the smoke. you remember that day very vividly. what is the most important thing y you hope people that come to the museum emerge with? >> i hope they emerge from going to downtown new york with the fact that resiliency is a great defense to terrorism. i wish this was put in the museum in bold lights. there are twice as many people living in lower manhattan today than in 2001.
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these people absorbed the attack. they know they're at risk. but they've gone about their lives. they've made downtown new york a hot place. twice as many people living there as before. i believer that resiliency is a great defense against this type of terrorism. >> we'll have live coverage leer on cnn tomorrow morning of this dedication. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. thanks for having me. just ahead, thousands of people forced to flee their homes. we're going right to the front lines. a fast-moving wildfire moves on. our breaking news coverage continues. breaking news on the health news. the u.s., the world health organization, so deeply concerned right now. as of last count, 18 countries have confirmed case including the united states. vo: once upon a time there was a boy who traveled to a faraway place
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we got the breaking news. horrible fires in southern california now. jennifer gray is joining us. watching what is going on. what is the latest as far as the forecast is concerned? >> the forecast is not looking better as far as the rain goes. the temperatures will drop. the wins will drop-- winds will. 96% of the state in severe drought. 76% of the state in extreme drought. it won't take just a couple of days of rain to reverse this. it will take much, much more. doesn't look like things will take a turnaround any motime so.
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we hit 100 today. humidity levels in the single digit. wind gusts in the 50 to 60-mile-per-hour range. going forward, 77 on saturday, so, wolf, the good news is even though we're not going to get rain which we desperately need, at least the temperatures will come down by the weekend and the winds will start to die down tomorrow into the weekend as well. >> we're talking about san diego to palm springs, carls swrn b s closer toward l.a., is that right, jennifer? >> that's right. wind gusts anywhere from 50 to 60 miles per hour in the foothills and mountains. all over southern california. winds 31 miles per hour. 18, burbank. 17, santa ana. this stretches a large area, wolf, from sant a barbara to stake. very, very windy and the state
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very dry. >> very dry, very hot. almost 100 degrees in parts of that area and no rain. jennifer, we'll get back to you. other news we're following including the spreading virus that has the u.s. officials increasingly concerned. the threat for the middle east respiratory virus also known as mers has cig cannisignificantly increased. 18 countries are reporting cases including two in the united states. some countries are taking dramatic steps to prevent a full-blown epidemic. brian todd is working this story. >> word today, one more country, netherlands, a confirmed case of mers. that brings it to the total wolf mentioned. 18 countries foy ies now. top health officials are getting more worried. the concern about this potentially fatal virus has significantly increased according to the world health organization. health officials say hundreds of people may have been exposed to
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the mers virus by flying on planes within the united states with two mers patients who are now in florida and indiana. they're both health care workers who came to the u.s. after being infected in said raudi arabia. one woman who flew on the same flight as a patient said she was informed by her state health agency or-exposure. >> they told me there was a confirmed case of the mers virus from my flight. i was really scared. >> reporter: the woman says neither she or her husband have symptoms of hers. two patients confirmed in the u.s. are reported to be getting better. what if someone with mers got into a major city? experts says it takes sustained close contact with a patient to get it but also say mers like sars is worrisome. >> with sars it spreads so far because people carrying the disease from asia went to many different parts of the world and unfortunately when they got sick
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and went into hospitals or were being taken care of by family members, they were able to infect people who were at close range. >> reporter: is this a line of defense? a thermal imaging camera is used to try to detect elevated body temperatures, high fevers potentially associated with mers. it was used today at a conference attended by defense secretary chuck hagel in said ra saudi arabia where mers originated. >> it's displayed on our camera as a colorized image and this particular image we see cold areas that are black/blue, to medium areas that are purple to orange, and then the warmer or higher temperature area being yellow to white. >> reporter: can these cameras spot mers? >> they can't diagnose mers with a fever scanner. the probability that somebody with a fever scanner has mers versus numerable other things
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they could have makes it an impractical tool in this setting. >> some people who really have mers could go undetected by a scanner because some may not have fevers yet and would walk right past it and it wouldn't pick it up. the incubation period for mers is 2 to 14 days. the world health organization now says it is not recommending that agencies use thermal imaging cameras, wolf. they say they don't do much good in this case. >> health officials around the world, airlines around the world are trying to learn more about the passengers, the potential threat out there. >> that's right, wolf. they're scrambling do learn more and working with the cdc and others to track these passengers. at least two major u.s.-based carriers who we believe carried two patients into the u.s. are working closely with the cdc trying to contact those passengers, contact crew members, make sure they're okay and get them to a doctor to get them diagnosed one way or the other. really scrambling to find these people. >> we found the posters they're putting up in airports giving a specific warning to folks. >> warning you specifically if you've been in the region of the
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arabian peninsula any time recently and have symptoms, a lot can feel like a common cold, cough, shortness of breath, get to a doctor because you could have this if you've been in that region and come back. >> it's not just 18 countries now, potentially -- it's inspanding including in the united states. we'll stay on top of this story. thanks very much. we're also staying on top of the other breaking news we're following. more live coverage of the california wildfire emergency. take a look at these pictures. an area north of san diego. carlsbad. these fires are expanding right now. we're told about 15,000 people have already been evacuated. we asked people a question, how much money do you think you'll need when you retire? then we gave each person a ribbon to show how many years that amount might last. i was trying to, like, pull it a little further. [ woman ] got me to 70 years old. i'm going to have to rethink this thing.
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happening now, breaking news. a fire disaster unfolding. right knew thousands have been ordered to evacuate. fast-moving flames are
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threatening homes and schools in southern california. plus, we have brand new portions of cnn's exclusive interview with donald sterling. portions that have just been released. he's pouring even more fuel on the scandal surrounding him and the nba. >> what am i, frankenstein? what am i, some kind of an ogre? >> the l.a. clippers' owner also speaking out about a powerful threat that players might organize a boycott if he refuses to sell his team. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation" room. this is cnn breaking news. >> let's get to the breaking news this hour. a desperate escape from racing flames. several major fires are burning across southern california. in the san diego county area. fueled by hot, dry winds. more than 15,000 people are under orders to evacuate. a naval weapons station and amusement park, they are
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affected along with many homes and schools that are considered at high risk right now. cnn's paul ver cammen is in carlsbad, california. >> reporter: wolf, let's take a look at what this wind-whipped blaze did in one canyon. look over here. we're up on a ridge. there's an active flank of flame burning over there. the fire then swept east down through here. and look at all of this scorched earth. as we go ahead and move through here, this carlsbad fire which in the late afternoon, it caused 15,000 evacuations, came racing toward development. you can see through the haze and the smoke the houses in the background, but with fingers crossed, these houses survived. this is just one of at least four fires burning in very dry san diego county. the conditions here windy, hot, almost no humidity. less than 10%. san diego county firefighters
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really up against it today and doing some extremely tough work. now back to you. >> all right, paul vercammon, we'll get back to you. i want to bring in cnn meteorologist jennifer gray for the very latest. that drought is really off. >> yeah, it's really awful. unprecedented. we've never seen california this dry before. so this wildfire season could be one of the worst in history. of course, wind gusts right now not helping things. they are backing off a little bit, but still seeing wind gusts about 17 in burbank. santa ana, 17. b we had gusts 50 and 60 miles per hour in the foothills and mountains. we have the fire danger from santa barbara all the way down to the mexico border. we are going to continue to see that as we go through the evening. should start to die down as we go through tomorrow and the weekend. that's when the wind should start to die down and the temperatures should start to back off as well, wolf. >> all right. jennifer gray, we'll get back to
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you. joining us on the phone, ken, the director of the california department of fire protection. what's your analysis right now? how bad is it? >> hi, good afternoon, wolf. obviously it's everything we said it would be this fire season and it's obviously very early. we're seeing conditions, you're showing them there on tv. fires burning with intensity that would normally see in august. so it is fire season in california. >> is it under control? or are they still expanding and getting even more dangerous? >> well, obviously with the weather report you just gave and the conditions we're seeing, we have the potential all afternoon for new fire starts. we've seen, you know, we probably have between five and six larger fires burning right as we speak. obviously we're aggressively fighting all of them, moving resources throughout southern california to meet that need. and we're doing well at gaining the upper hand on many of them and obviously others, we're continuing to put resources on them until we can get full containle. >> we've been reporting about
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told to evacuate their homes.en- is that number growing? >> you know, it's not a static number for sure, because as the fires -- as new fires break out, or as fires change direction, the county, san diego county is leaning very far forward with i phone notification system to ensure people in the path of the fire are given early warning through those reverse 911 systems so it's at least that many number of people. again, that fluctuates throughout the day depending on where the fire threat is and, again, what new fires may emerge this afternoon. >> ken, good luck to you. good luck to everyone fighting these fires. ken is the director of california department of fire protection. we'll check back with you. we're going to stay on top of this story. much more on the fires coming up. there's another major story we're following right now here in "the situation room" including this. donald sterling, he's digging himself deeper and deeper into scandal.
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the disgraced owner of the l.a. clippers making more outrageous statements. in an exclusive interview in at secret recording that's been revir reve revealed. anderson cooper is standing by with new parts of his exclusive interview with sterling that have just been released. we'll get to him in a moment. first, national correspondent suzanne malveaux is in "the situation room" with more of sterling's latest shocking statements. >> you know, we've learned so much from anderson's exclusive with donald sterling, his conversation with magic johnson. today there's more sound from a recorded telephone conversation purportedly between sterling and longtime friend of his, a hip hop artist named maserati. we're not able to confirm the voices of either of those but allegedly takes place four days of the scandal broke, provides a very interesting twist to this sad and tawdry story. in a recorded conversation, purportedly with his hip hop buddy maserati, a man who sounds
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like donald sterling says it's his girlfriend, v. stiviano who's racist. >> she said, god made me black, i didn't want to be black. i've got 15 brothers and sisters, they're all mexican, and i'm the only one that's black. she said, do you know what it is to wake up every morning and wish you were white? >> reporter: sterling claims she went so far as to bleach her skin. >> and she tried so hard to make her skin white. and she does it every night. >> to make it white? >> yeah. her feet, her hands. what do you think about my skin color? i really didn't think about it. well, do you like black skin? >> reporter: an attorney representing stiviano responded saying it's nonsense, she's extremely proud of her heritage and her background. despite all that has happened, she still cares very deeply for donald. sterling says repeatedly that his actions were motivated by sex. >> she's got a fabulous body.
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>> reporter: publicly, sterling is playing it cool as the nba prepares to take away his team, telling cnn's anderson cooper -- >> i done want to fight with my partners, you know, we all do what we have to do in life. >> you -- >> i love them and i respect them and whatever their decision is, with regard to the disposition of my terrible words, then i have to do it, i think. >> reporter: but privately, sterling says his legal team is preparing to take their case all the way to the supreme court. >> they think that it's excessive. far excessive for what happened. for what? even if he said he hates jews or he hates koreans, can he charge him that? isn't that excessive? can you take away his living? can you take away his living? i ask you. for what? for trying to get a girl hot and trying to make it with her?
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>> reporter: the players are now threatening to boycott next season. vice president of the nba players association roger mason says lebron james will lead. >> he ain't playing if sterling is still an owner. >> in his recording, sterling repeatedly says he has done nothing wrong, calls it cruel and unusual punishment and refuses to pay $2.2 million fine and says it's paying a very high price for trying to -- this is in his words -- get a girl hot and make it with her. you can see, wolf, this is a very real disconnect here with the way he is viewing the situation and his motives and how this is playing out. >> total disconnect. i can think of other words as well. all right. i want you to stand by, suzanne. sterling is now reacting to the threat of a boycott by nba players. i want to bring in anderson cooper into this. a anderson, you had the exclusive interview with him. we know more is about to be released on your program later tonight. is he really serious about this effort to try to fight the nba
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to try to hold on to his team? because he's going to lose that fight. >> well, you know, it's in hhe here -- roger mason, we heard him saying on a show time program about lebron boycotting, he backed away from that statement about specifically lebron saying he would boycott. he does say all the players are united in wanting the sterlings out. donald sterling, though, in his conversation to me, though, while he on the one hand says whatever the owners want, i care, i love the owner, whatever they decide to do, i'm going to have to live with that. the very next sentence he will say, you know, he does have options to fight it. he hasn't made up his mind whether or not to do it. he's clearly waiting to see, waiting for the next shoe to drop, waiting for the owners to vote. and then he's going to have to decide what he wants to do. but he does really kind of look down on this idea that the players don't like him. he believes that the los angeles clippers even, he has repeatedly
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said to me that that team loves him despite his comments. that they like him. i asked him why aren't they coming forward and backing them up? he said, well, they're under pressure. he blames it really on the media. but he seems to kind of poopoo the idea that sponsors won't support them, that players won't play. here's some of what he says. >> you believe you will be able to keep the team? >> well -- >> the advertisers certainly -- >> the advertisers are all coming back. let's not be crazy. the fans will all come if you have a good team. if you don't have a good team -- >> even if you're owner? >> what am i, frankenstein? what am i, some kind of an ogre? i'm a good person. i'm a warm person. i say hello to everybody who onlies up to the team. >> there's some players, though, who have talked about a boycott of the season. >> that's talk. the media pushes that. why would they do that? if they get their salaries,
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they're going to play. i mean, one day they all love you and the next day you make a mistake and say something and suddenly they hate you? is that the way it is? what if a player said, i don't like working for that jew. what would we do? i wouldn't do anything. i would ask him why? why? i want to make you happy. if you want more money, you know, more attention, more love? >> anderson, i know you're going to have a lot more on this interview, excerpts that haven't aired yet, later tonight on "a.c. 360." we'll certainly be looking forward to that. i believe this man is living in another world. anderson cooper, thanks very much for all the excellent work you're doing. still ahead, don lemon, suzanne malveaux also sticking around. we're going to have a lot more discussion of what we're hearing from donald sterling. his newest comments, the threat
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potentially of an nba boycott. also, we're going to following the breaking news. the fire emergency in california. we're bringing you dramatic new pictures. new information directly as they come into the "situation room." stay with us. ♪ [ girl ] my mom, she makes underwater fans that are powered by the moon. ♪ she can print amazing things, right from her computer. [ whirring ] [ train whistle blows ] she makes trains that are friends with trees. ♪ my mom works at ge. ♪ how did i know? well, i didn't really. see, i figured low testosterone would decrease my sex drive... but when i started losing energy and became moody... that's when i had an honest conversation with my doctor. we discussed all the symptoms...
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keeping close watch on multiple field we'res creasing across southern california, especially in san diego county. officials say at least three homes have been destroyed. dozens or more havet tobeen damd including in carlsbad where one blaze is very aggressive. about 15,000 people we're told have been ordered to evacuate. flames are threatening many homes. some schools right now. the heat, the winds, the drought
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in california are unprecedented. we're told. they're fueling the fires, making the situation even more dangerous. joining us on the phone is the carl carlsbad fire chief, mike davis. chief, thanks very much. what's the very latest? how's the situation in carlsbad? >> well, wolf, hey, i want to say thank you for all your thoughts and your sendout to everybody here on this side of the country. we very much appreciate it, and the opportunity to tell you that. the forward progress of this fire, meaning that the bulk of it where it's chewing up the acreage has been slowed or stopped. and that's the good news. we have about just in the city of carlsbad 23,000 evacuation notices and most of those being mandatory. the others being advisory and suggested evacuations. now that we have the forward progress stopped, we should not have to evacuate any more
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citizens. right now we're looking at 15 damaged or destroyed homes and an acreage that is just over 100 acre -- this is a very small acreage fire with a tremendous amount of loss. these fires in southern california move extreme -- very fast. they're what we would consider in the wildland firefighting arena to be very high intensity wildland events but short in duration. so the fire started at 10:30 this morning and now we're looking at the forward progress being stopped and firefighters will continue with really hard boots on the ground work working toward containment. >> it's early in the season for these fires to be developing, isn't it? >> wolf, i've been in the fire service 27 years and i've never seen weather this early, what we would consider fire weather in southern california.
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i just haven't seen it. it's been a discussion point amongst all the chiefs of san diego county saying, man, this is just amazing that we're having these back-to-back santa ana wind events and the dry fuels, of course, that you mentioned about the drought. it's just as if it was october here. and that's generally when we have these type of events. >> and it looks like given the drought and the forecast, this could just be the start. how worried are you, chief, about that? >> extraordinarily. yeah. there's no question. all of us are -- we're on edge this morning. and when you -- you just say, you just hope it doesn't hit your city. you hope for everybody to do well. all the cities within the county of san diego and orange county, l.a. county, we help them, they help us. but when you have the weather that we had over the last three
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days, you hope to dodge the bullet, so to speak, and it doesn't always happen. >> mike davis is the carlsbad fire chief. chief davis, good luck over there. give our best to everyone in the area. these are awful, awful scenes that we're showing our viewers. we'll stay on top of the breaking news. much more coming up right after this. when folks think about what they get from alaska, they think salmon and energy. but the energy bp produces up here creates something else as well: jobs all over america. engineering and innovation jobs. advanced safety systems & technology. shipping and manufacturing. across the united states, bp supports more than a quarter million jobs. when we set up operation in one part of the country, people in other parts go to work. that's not a coincidence. it's one more part of our commitment to america. captain obvious: this is a creepy room. man: oh hey, captain obvious.
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let's get back to the donald sterling scandal. right now, more of his outrageous remarks in the exclusive interview with anderson cooper. we're joined by suzanne malveaux, cnn anchor, don lemon, and cnn commentator, l.z. what do you make of the assertion? we heard him say it again to anderson that he thinks he's loved by the players, l.a. clippers, among others. is he totally delusional? >> absolutely. i'm going to assume all he does is make phone calls, recorded and leaked out later and doesn't pay attention to the newspapers or blog posts or anything that's happening in reality because the truth of the matter is the players are not happy. his coach is not happy. he's had previous executives in his franchise who weren't happy before. i don't know where he's interpreting any of this behavior as love. it just doesn't make any sense.
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>> don, you heard that little excerpt, more of the interview coming up on "a.c. 360" later tonight. but when you hear him talking like this as if he's beloved, what goes through your mind? >> well, first of all, i can't believe l.z. said that it was leaked. he's insinuating that he set up this phone call. i can't believe you would say that, l.z., by the way, i am being facetious here. >> leaked. >> when i hear -- i mean, it's just more of sort of the same. you know, wolf, i keep saying the same thing. he keeps putting his foot in his mouth. no one believes him. no one believes no matter how much he triesapologize, which aren't really apologies, yes, he's delusional if he in fact believes that. maybe somewhere in his mind or someone is telling him that, you know, if he goes out says that, that he has the opportunity to change public opinion. i don't see how that is going to happen. i think he is is a lost cause and i think the clippers are
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loft cause when it comes to him owning them again. >> i think you're right on that front. suzanne, he denies he's a racist. he accused anderson cooper of being a racist. now he's talking about v. st stiviano, she is a racist. >> we don't know anything about v. stiviano or what her thoughts are. he's confusing two different things. he's saying she's a racist and talking about suggesting that it's self-loathing or self-hate. that is the by-product of racism. that is not racism. there's a very big difference between stereotyping and discriminating against a whole group of people and maybe having some sort of identity issue or problem, you know, within yourself. internalizing racism. so that's a totally a false comparison that he makes. and we still, we don't know for sure whether or not, you know, you can take his word with a grain of salt, what her real feelings are about who she is and how she identifies. >> he says she bleaches her skin, l.z. what do you make of that?
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>> well, you know, i agree with suzanne. we don't really know much about her. he's actually accused her of a lot of things. just way that the telephone conversation seems to be happening, it just sounds as if it's someone who's purposely trying to trash his accusers and hoping to deter or turn away the detention being on him. seems ca s calculative to me. we don't know if she did pro bono work for the d.a. office like he said she did. sounds ridiculous. >> i think we need to rename him kodak. he's projecting. he's the ultimate projector. everyone else is what he is. so anderson's a racist, v. stiviano is a racist. i'm going to rename him. >> guys, i want you to stand by. don, i know you're going to be anchor our 10:00 p.m. eastern hour later tonight. i'll see you then. i want to get quickly back to the breaking news. the massive wildfires in
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california. paul vercammen is on the frontlines. paul, what are you seeing right now? it looks awful. >> reporter: wolf, we're here on aviara parkway, a major road in carlsbad, california, where, again, they had to retrench and make another stand. they put a lot of engines and even helicopters, excuse me, into this neighborhood, and just beyond in the smoke is another one of those vast canyons where you have this dry, dry, dry brush, translation, fuel for a fire. it raced up toward this hill. as we said earlier, there have been 15,000 people evacuated. legoland and schools here in carlsbad. and right now, they're trying to hit this fire on the southern flank with everything they have. it's so smoky, we're trying to pick out this helicopter above us. go ahead. see if we can see it. it's critical to this fire fight right now because it's going to a nearby lagoon. it's actually dropping some murky brackish dirty water on
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the fire, so that's what's going on right now here in carlsbad, california. one of four spifires burning inn diego county. >> we'll of course stay on top of the breaking news throughout the night here on cnn. thanks. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." let's step into the "cross fire" with stephanie cutter and s.e. cupp. wolf, it was throwback wednesday in washington. bill and hillary clinton came to town. it's back to the 0s iss. >> i don't think so, s.e. they're looking to the future. the only throwback is your party. >> okay. >> the debate starts right now. tonight on "crossfire." the clintons strike back. >> first they said she faked her concussion. and now they say she's auditioning for a part on the "walking dead." >> bill and hillary come to washington and defend the family brand. will they scare off the competition? >> are you still thinking about running for president? when will you make the decision? >> yes, and later.